Anxiety comes in two varieties. You can have common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re coping with an emergency situation. And then you can have the type of anxiety that isn’t actually connected to any one event or concern. They feel the anxiety frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s more of a general feeling that seems to pervade the day. This second form is usually the kind of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Both kinds of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be especially harmful if you experience extended or chronic anxiety. When it feels anxiety, your body produces a myriad of chemicals that raise your alert status. It’s good in the short term, but damaging over extended periods of time. Over the long run, anxiety that can’t be treated or controlled will begin to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms
Symptoms of anxiety commonly consist of:
- Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
- General pain or soreness in your body
- Physical weakness
- Fear about impending disaster
- A thumping heart or difficulty breathing commonly linked to panic attacks
- Feeling agitated or aggravated
But persistent anxiety doesn’t always manifest in the ways that you would anticipate. Anxiety can even impact vague body functions including your hearing. For example, anxiety has been associated with:
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is commonly a symptom of prolonged anxiety. Do not forget, the sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And a few of the effects of anxiety are not at all unexpected. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have various negative secondary effects on you physically. It is, to use a colloquialism, bad news. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be brought about by high blood pressure.
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only exacerbates tinnitus but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several other factors). For a few, this could even manifest itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Generally on a hearing blog like this we would normally concentrate on, well, hearing. And your ability to hear. So let’s talk a bit about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
The solitude is the first and foremost concern. People often withdraw from social activities when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. Perhaps you’ve experienced this with somebody you know. Maybe a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat themselves. The same holds true for balance issues. It can be difficult to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance problems.
There are also other ways anxiety and depression can lead to social isolation. When you do not feel yourself, you won’t want to be with others. Unfortunately, this can be something of a circle where one feeds the other. The negative effects of isolation can happen rapidly and will trigger several other problems and can even result in cognitive decline. For someone who deals with anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that shift toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Figuring Out How to Properly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Finding the proper treatment is important especially given how much hearing loss, tinnitus, anxiety and isolation feed each other.
All of the symptoms for these conditions can be helped by obtaining treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Connecting with others has been demonstrated to help relieve both anxiety and depression. Certainly, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that could make persistent anxiety more severe. In order to decide what treatments will be most effective for your situation, check with your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus might be hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other kinds of therapy could be necessary. Tinnitus has also been found to be effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be severely affected by anxiety.
We also know that hearing loss can result in isolation and cognitive decline. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Thankfully, treatments exist for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a big, positive difference. The health impacts of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t have to last. The key is finding treatment as soon as you can.